Tyson Fury has predicted he will knock out Dillian Whyte inside six rounds when they collide at Wembley Stadium on April 23.
Queensberry Promotion and Top Rank, who won the rights to stage the bout with a record purse bid, held a press conference on Tuesday at the same venue.
But Brixton’s Whyte opted to stay in Portugal, leaving the stage for WBC world heavyweight king Fury to hold court.
“Dillian Whyte is in Portugal – he should be here,” said Queensberry Promotions boss Frank Warren. “It’s disgraceful he isn’t here, it’s unprofessional he isn’t here.
“If someone else had won the purse bid, we’d have helped to make that work. This is madness.
“He wanted a private jet to fly him in and we said yesterday [Monday] we’d do that – in writing. They didn’t want to let us use his photograph, I’ve never heard anything like it in my life.”
Fury – nicknamed The Gypsy King – is seen as the top fighter in the weight division after back-to-back wins over American knockout specialist Deontay Wilder.
He became undisputed champion after outpointing Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 but the titles became fractured after a period of inactivity when he battled depression and his weight ballooned.
Fury made his comeback in the summer of 2018 – controversially only being handed a draw against vaunted puncher Wilder at the end of that year.
“I think Tyson Fury smashes this fella [Whyte] to pieces in front of his home fans in the UK,” said the Manchester-born fighter. “I believe it is the biggest British title fight since Lennox Lewis-Frank Bruno – an all-British showdown for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world.
“I know Dillian Whyte is going to come in prepared. He’s going to come in rugged, rough, game and aggressive. He has got a big left hook, a big right hand and, who knows? It could be me chinned on the night. Both fighters will be going for the knockout.
“I think when I land a Lancaster bomber on his jaw it’s going to be over. That could be round one or round six, I don’t see it going beyond that.”
Whyte, 34, has been one of the top contenders for a number of years and the WBC mandated that Fury had to defend against him after a unification with Oleksandr Usyk could not be agreed.
The only defeats on his 28-2 record have come at the hands of Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin, the latter avenged in August 2020.
Fury claims it makes no difference if Whyte opts to shun media duties.
“I’m not concerned because it is the Tyson Fury roadshow,” he said. “It’s never about the opponent. You’re going to see the difference in level. You’re going to see a Ferrari racing a Vauxhall Corsa.
“I’m not saying Dillian Whyte isn’t capable of winning a fight but there is a gulf in class here.
“He is getting 32 times his biggest payday – he’s very lucky he’s in my era.
“He should be here today kissing my feet and washing my feet. Instead he has shown a white flag. Of course he doesn’t want to go face to face – he’ll see that fire in my eyes and know he’s getting smashed to bits.”